Maria Fragoudaki is equally comfortable working small or large scale. For those who got their first taste of the artist’s work with the large-scale installation on the facade of the Hotel Grande Bretagne in Syntagma Square in the spring of 2017, her return to canvas should come as no surprise, as she is now ready to show 32 mixed-medium pieces at the Cyclades Gallery in Ermoupoli, on the island of Syros.
Opening on Saturday, “Transformation-Reconstruction-Composition,” which is curated by Giorgos Altouvas, has a retrospective character and includes pieces created since 2011, as well as a selection from her “BedSheets” series, on which the Syntagma Square installation was based.
There will also be a display of works by pioneering Greek abstract artists ranging from Yiannis Spyropoulos and Alekos Kontopoulos to Thanos Tsingos, Mario Prassinos, Theodoros Stamos, Yannis Gaitis and Nikos Kessanlis.
Thanks to a solid educational background in chemistry and pharmacology, and years spent abroad, where she closely studied the work of master printers including Donald Sheridan, Andy Warhol and Andrew Ginzel – renowned for his large-scale public art and installations – Fragoudaki has developed her own approach to the medium.
Inspired by the Process Art movement, the Greek artist stresses that it is the material rather than color that gives her work identity. Her knowledge of chemistry comes into play with experiments in deconstructing different materials and bringing together disparate elements on the canvas. In her hands, modest materials like plaster, rubber and feathers are transformed into original compositions. Wood shavings, duct tape, wire and rope, acrylics and solvents give her canvases layers and textures, lending her work a third dimension.
The exhibition runs through August 26 at the Gallery of the Cyclades (Papadaki St, Ermoupoli, tel 228.108.0918). Opening hours are Mondays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2.45 p.m.